A R T I C L E S
a/an (indefinite article)
‚a‘ before consonants
‚an‘ before vowels (a, e, i, o, u)
(It is based on a sound of a word, not spelling!): An hour, a university etc.
a/an with countable nouns in singular form only.
When we talk about something for the first time.
A man walks into a bar and says ‚Hello‘.
I can see a dog running outside. He works in an office (no specific office).
A/an with jobs
My dad’s a teacher and my mother is an office clerk.
He’s a labourer. She’s a nurse.
‚A/an‘ meaning one
There’s a car (one car) in the car park.
I only have a 20-pound note on me. She has got a (one) cat.
A/an goes with a noun
There was a storm last night. She has bought a nice dress. He’s been talking on a mobile phone all morning. I ate an apple for lunch. We’ll have a holiday in June.
The (definite article)
We use ‚the‘ for both consonants and vowels
‚The‘ when we mention something for the second time (we know which particular object is being talked about)
I live in a house. The house is not very large and the garden is small.
My friend has got a cat. The cat is 3 years old.
Ordinal numbers with dates
Today is the second of June.
Tom was born on the 15th of October.
‚The‘ with south/north/east/west
Houses are cheaper in the north than in the south of England.
He comes from the Eastern Europe.
Parts of town
There are many clubs in the city centre.
Many people live on the outskirts of big cities where rents are usually lower than in the centre.
I can play the guitar. You can play the piano. I don’t anyone who can play the violin. She used to play the flute when she was little.
People in Britain, Australia, India, Japan and some other countries drive on the left.
Cars in Britain have a steering wheel on the right.
‚The‘ when we want to say that something is unique
You can find some sandwiches in the fridge. (our fridge, not any fridge in the world)
The Americans landed on the Moon in 1969.
The Queen (British Queen) made a speech on TV on the New Year’s Day as always.
Parts of day
I want to go out clubbing in the evening. (this evening)
I didn’t have any breakfast in the morning. (this morning)
We need to do some shopping in the afternoon.
BUT He came home late at night. (NO article)
Other common uses:
We went to the cinema last night.
I wanted to go to the theatre but my girlfriend didn’t.
He goes to the swimming pool every Saturday.
She goes to the gym four times (4x) a week.
What’s the time, please? It’s 3 o’clock.
London is the capital city of the UK.
My teacher comes from the USA and he works in the Czech Republic.